Thursday, November 04, 2004


Well, somehow I survived my first four-day teaching series on abstinence on my own. No more observing, no team-teaching--just me and a roomful of sixth graders, four times a day for four days.

I'm glad I'm only doing this until May.

Seriously, it wasn't all bad. Thanks to an exceptional memory (which obviously I can't take credit for--just a blessing), I learned most of the kids' names and was able to really connect with many of them. Many of the classes went more smoothly than I feared. I got to share personal stories and talk about the love of my life--nothing like a job that allows you to do that :) I think being young in this job is a positive thing. Though I may be inexperienced at teaching, it hasn't been long since I was where these kids are at. And abstinence isn't just a word to me--it's a choice I'm still having to live by. So I'm not just another adult telling them what to do, and I like that. And it's gratifying to get evaluations back and see the vast majority of kids circle "yes" for the statement, "I have made a decision to save sex for marriage."

But...then you've got the couple of kids who heard all the information, and still didn't make that choice. The obnoxious, immature boys who give the opposite answers of what you're looking for. The annoying chit-chat that doesn't stop. The class who gives you blank stares when you ask questions. Or off-the-wall answers that aren't even in the ballpark. Rising levels of impatience when it's all you can do not to blow your top. The teacher who intimidates you. The lesson that seems jumpy and disconnected and makes you fumble over your words. Tired feet, a hoarse voice...the sheer unpredictability of it do teachers do this every day?

But I survived, by the grace of God. All I can do is hope that the seeds I planted this week are cultivated and watered somewhere along the line...that the commitments those sixth graders made this week stick, by His grace...and that somewhere along the line, they find Him.

So there you have it: More than you ever wanted to know about my first full week of abstinence education. Whew. Maybe later I'll post some of the kids' comments from my evaluations, for a few laughs.

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